Since new marguerites (Argyranthemum) were introduced from Madeira and the Canary Islands back in the 1970s, they have developed from colourful but tall and straggly plants to become even more colourful - but neat and prolific - with a long summer and autumn season.
Now, there’s been an impressive and unexpected new development. Plant breeders from the Japanese company that brought us the Surfinia petunias, and many more fine summer patio plants, have crossed marguerites (Argyranthemum) with annual chrysanthemums, Chrysanthemum coronarium (now correctly known as Glebionis coronaria). It’s basically the same idea as combining perennial and annual calendulas in the PowerDaisy Series.
The result is a sparkling series of four new varieties: the GranDaisy Collection. Exceptionally long flowering, and tolerant of summer heat as well as the cooler conditions of spring and autumn, the bright 6cm (2in) daisies come in four colours.
GranDaisy® Pink is the star, the rose pink flowers have a neat red ring around the eye. In fact it looks more as if it has blood from the related Ismelia carinata (Chrysanthemum carinatum as was), rather than Glebionis coronaria.
The other three colours are GranDaisy® Red, which opens red then fades to cerise pink as the flowers mature; GranDaisy® White, which is a pure clean white; while GranDaisy® Yellow is vivid yellow. The eyes are shades of honey golden brown.
All make bushy, spreading plants with finely-dissected foliage reaching about 35cm high and 45cm across (14in x 18in) – depending how well they’re watered and fed. They make splendid specimen plants in large pots or can also be used in mixed containers and in sunny summer borders.
I should mention, for the more botanically-minded, that as yet there is no botanical name for the hybrids between Argyranthemum and Glebionis.
The GranDaisy Collection will be available in 2017 from Thompson & Morgan.
*Please note that the contents of this blog reflect the views of its owner; which are not necessarily those of the RHS